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The Bible is full of relationships.  Troubled relationships

Genesis 3: 15  And I will put enmity (animosity, hatred, hostility) between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

God told the servant (Satan) there will be hatred, hostility between you/your offspring, and the woman and her offspring.  Men will bruise Satan’s head and Satan will bruise men’s heel.

When you have a bruise on your foot it makes it difficult to walk, there is a limp, pain!  Satan’s goal is to make it difficult for us to walk in good relationships.  With God and with other people.

Romans 16:19-20 ….be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.  And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

Our goal is to make sure that Satan is under our feet and he is not winning in destroying any relationship we have.

Jesus tells us how to keep Satan from winning in Luke chapter 6.

Verse 20 –  Blessed are the poor (Matthew adds: poor in spirit). This is Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Lean not to your own understanding.    Jesus showed us how to lean not to our own understanding and to be poor in spirit when He was in the wilderness.  He could have turned the stones into bread, but He wanted what God wanted.   When we are poor in spirit, we are trusting God!

Verse 21  – Blessed are you who hunger (Matthew adds: for righteousness) now for you shall be filled.  Esau was willing to sell his birthright for a bowl of soup.  We want to hunger for what God has for us and not give in for that temporary moment of satisfaction.

Verse 22 – Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil. for the Son of Man’s sake.  Abram was told in Gen. 12:3  I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you.  The law of sowing and reaping is put into effect (Galatians 6:7-9).   Abram was a blessed man because he choose to bless others.  If we bless others we will be blessed when we choose to curse others we bring curses on ourselves.

Jesus goes onto explain how to continue to bruise Satan’s head and to walk without a limp ……

27 – Love your enemies and do good to those who hate you.

28 – Bless those who curse you and pray for those who spitefully use you.

29 – If someone hits you on one cheek, let him hit you on the other too.  If they take away your shirt, give them your coat too.

30 – Give to everyone who asks of you. If someone takes your stuff don’t ask for it back.

31 –  Do to others what you want done to you.

32 – Love,  33 –  Do good to others,  34 – Lend to others,

35 –  Love your enemies, do good and lend, not looking for anything in return, then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High God.  He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

36 –  Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.

37 –  Do not judge!   Do not Condemn others.   Forgive!

38 – For with the same measure you give judgement, condemnation, forgiveness it will come back to you.

Thank you Jesus for instructing us how to live.

Take time to pray and ask the Lord to form these qualities in you so you look more and more like the child of the Most High God.

Your relationship with the Father will be peaceful & good.

Your relationship with others will be peaceful & good!

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Life Journal Reading:

GenesisNoah listened, built, was abused, entered, was protected, blessed, got drunk and naked in his tent

Ham saw him and went out and told his brothers who went in backwards, and covered their Dad. Because Ham told his brothers, his son, Canaan was cursed. Canaan was not his oldest son, but he was cursed by God to be the servant of all.

Canaan became the father of the Canaanites, the Sidonites, the Hittites, etc.

Ham was the youngest son of Noah, yet he is usually listed as 2nd. Shem, Ham and Japheth

Just noting interesting things, I saw as I was reading Genesis.

Tower of Babel – build to make a name for themselves, pride. God brought confusion to divide and send them all over the place.

Luke 4 – Temptation of Jesus – tempted with pride – same temptation as Eve and Adam – “Did God really say…” “I will you …, if you …” “If you are …”

Jesus honored His Father in all His responses. Ham, not so much

How many times does the enemy come to us and challenge God’s word? “Did God really say …” “You aren’t forgiven because …” “If you are healed, then …” “You haven’t changed because you …” “If you are …”

All of our life is about the Kingdom of God and His son, Jesus.

Psalm 3 So many are saying “God will never rescue him.” But you oh Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, and the lifter of my head.

Luke 7 – Faith of a Roman officer “Lord don’t trouble yourself, just say the word from where you are.”

How do we recognize the enemy’s challenges to God’s words? Slowdown in your emotional reactions – stop, think – ‘would God really say …?’ ‘Does God really say …’

What does God want to be for you in this situation, that He could not be for you without this situation?

You know, He is that for you anyway, whether you recognize it or not.

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Mathew 2:1-23

Wise men saw a star in the sky and they knew that it represented the birth of a King for the Jewish nation.

Watching and studying stars is something that has been forever.

Job 9:9  Job talks about God creating the Bear, Orion and Pleiades.  These are constellations in the sky.

Orion, the great hunter.  In this constellation the start Betelgeuse lies on the shoulder of the hunter and is 1000 times the radius of the sun.  A star name Rigel is also in this constellation and it is 40,000 times brighter than the sun.

Pleiades, has 6 stars that are visible to the naked eye.  There are 500 starts in this cluster.

In Job 38:31  God talks to Job, can you bind the cluster of  Pleiades?  Orion, can you take off his belt?  

Man has used the stars to travel with and these wise men knew there was a big event taking place the night Jesus was born.

God could have spoken a star into existence the night of Jesus birth but His plans are not last minute.  He designed the starts and planned for them to be in the right place for the wise men to see them.  He designed the wise men to already be looking and expecting for a new king to be born.  They accepted the challenge.

Think about these men.  They went looking for a new-born king.  They didn’t travel by plane, car, or  train.  They didn’t have hotels to stop in along the way.  There wasn’t fast food restaurants.  No internet to go to for directions. They had to prepare for this adventure.  Food, being away for an unplanned time, clothing, even the gifts they brought were planned before they left home.  They had no idea how long they would be gone.

When they met King Herod and told of this new king, the prophecy from Micah 5:2 was read to explain where this child was to be born.  In Bethlehem.  When the wise men started out after meeting Herod the star went before them and when they found the place they rejoiced with great joy.  The night Jesus was born the angel said there would be great joy to all people!  It is a joyous experience to find what you are looking for.

These men put their life on hold until they found the new-born king.  By the time they found Him He was no longer in the stable but in a house.  They traveled for over a year or more till they found Jesus.  Herod had all the little boys under the age of two killed thinking he would get rid of this new king.

We need the dedication these men had, to prepare for our adventure with Jesus and to stick with it no matter the difficulties or length of time.  Just as God directed them to start, He also directed them after they found Jesus and told them to go home a different way.  Don’t let Herod know you found Him.

God continues to direct our steps if we will listen.  He did for the wise men.  He did it for Joseph and Mary.  Take the child and go to Egypt.  Okay now you can go back to Israel.  Oh you are afraid, then go into Galilee, to the city of Nazareth and you will be safe.  God understood Josephs fear of going back to a place they wanted to kill this baby he was given to raise and redirected their steps.  God wants to do the same for each of us.

God knows each of us very well.  

Jeremiah 29:11 says he knows the thoughts He has for us.  Thoughts to prosper us and not for evil.  To give us hope and an expected end.   Even though during this time the people were in captivity.  God told them to build houses and marry and plant gardens.  He had a plan for them.  Just as He does for each of us.

Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good to those who love God and are called by Him.  He isn’t going to leave us. 

He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

As 2018 starts readjust your relationship with the Lord.  Get purposeful!  Make a plan!  Stick with it!  Find out more about Him.  Read His word.  Join us on the “Life Journal” reading plan for 2018 as we set our sights on knowing Jesus more and more.

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

The more we get to know God and Jesus the more He works in our lives by His grace.  The more we see Him in our lives the more peace we have!  Get to know God and His Son Jesus, make a plan, stick with it, get purposeful!

 

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Luke 2: 8-20 The ‘Christmas’ Story

Have you ever given a gift that was flat out refused or destroyed? They may not have liked or wanted it, but usually they say thanks and throw it in the closet or re-gift it. Right women? Men think they have the perfect gift and women think, ‘what was he thinking’. Right?

We have the greatest gift – ‘Good tidings of great joy’ – ‘Good News’ – Jesus Christ – Holy Spirit – Love – Grace – Peace – Rest – etc.

Yet we choose not to give it to people because ‘they won’t accept it’ or ‘they don’t deserve it’.

Luke 2:10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.”

Romans 1:20  “Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse.”

His creativity shouts of His love and Power

Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NLT)

It is the free gift of God, given to us to give to others, to ALL people – eternal life through/in/with Christ Jesus. We must receive Jesus

Once He is received we are to give Him to others. The more you give the more you get!

Keep your hands open – others need what you have – Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness, Rest, Kindness……

The enemy wants to keep us to keep focused on good vs. evil rather on the Good News. We do not need to focus on whether people are good or evil, we need to focus on the Good Tidings of Great Joy – God is Good

Goodness of God leads people to repentance. What is the Goodness of God? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness. Those are the gifts we need to give people, ALL people.

God’s gift, Jesus Christ, was given to destroy works of the enemy, and He did – It is finished!

It is our responsibility to make sure the ‘Gift Goes On’

God has given us His gift by allowing us to know His love so that we can pass this love on to others. Pass His peace, rest, joy on to ALL people. Do not be afraid. Will some reject the gift? Maybe, but most times people welcome being accepted, loved.

Takes the good tidings of great joy to all people. Jesus is asking, ‘will you trust me and share the good news?’

The Gift Goes On

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The Greatest Reveal In History

Tis the season – Busy, Busy, Busy –  Buying presents, attending parties, so much to do.

Slow down……Let’s focus on the important!

Luke 1 is the account of the angel appearing to Mary and changing the course of the world!

Mary is told:

28  REJOICE!  You are highly favored   –  The Lord is with You!

30  Do not be afraid, you have found favor with God

31  You will conceive – inside of you

35   God will do it through His Spirit

36   Elizabeth (your cousin) is expecting

37   With God all things are possible

38   Mary accepts –  Let it be to me according to Your word

 

Because the Son of the Living God was birthed inside of a young girl and we know the whole story – He was born, lived, died, rose again we have been granted the privilege to have Him birthed inside of us!

John 3:5-8   Jesus says…… Unless you are born of water (natural) and Spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God.  What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit.  (A new seed is placed inside of us!)   You must be born again.  The wind blows where is wishes, you hear the sound, but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

Some women just know they are expecting a child.  Their body hasn’t changed. They may not have even had a test to confirm it.  There is a knowing – I am expecting!  The way she lives life changes also.  She stops certain things and starts doing things she never thought she would

When we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins and believe in our heart He, has we can have the same knowing inside.  There is something that has changed. Our physical body hasn’t changed but we can know there is something different.

What is different?

John 17:11  Jesus says – that they may be one as we are one (He was praying to His Father)

John 17:23  I in them (Christ is birthed in us) and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them and You have loved Me.

Colossians 1:27 ….The mystery of the gospel –   Christ in you, the hope of glory!

There is a life inside of us that we like Mary need to acknowledge, and believeWith God all things are possibleHe will lead and guide usGod will do it through His SpiritChrist has been birthed in me!   I don’t have to be afraid, I have found favor with God!   REJOICE!

Colossians 2:

  • 6 As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk (live) in Him.
  • 7 Be rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it, with thanksgiving.
  • 8 Don’t let anyone cheat you, deceive you…….
  • 9 In Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead in a bodily form (You are the body He now dwells in)
  • 10 You are complete in Him, who in the head of all principality and power!

 

Just as Jesus was birthed inside of a young girl named Mary.

He is (can be) birthed in us!

May you have a blessed and Merry Christmas!

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Covenant Relationships

God’s design for man was relationships.  With Him and each other.  Relationships are never one sided.

Fear, rejection, insecurity, mistrust, lack of communication are all breakdowns of relationships.

Human nature is distrusting!

God has never lied to man (Numbers 23:19).  The purpose of the Bible is to let man know how much God loves us!

God made a covenant with Noah –  Gen. 9:11-17.  God – I am placing the rainbow in the sky as a sign of my promise (covenant) to never destroy the whole earth with a flood again.

God mad a covenant with Abraham.  Abraham would be the father of many nations.  The sign of the covenant was circumcision, Gen. 17.

A covenant is made up of words (promises) and a sign to always remember the promise made.

The most common covenant is seen in the marriage ceremony.

The man promises to the woman –  he will be true to her in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in prosperity and in adversity; and that forsaking all others he will keep himself to her, and to her only, until they are separated by death.

The woman promises to the man – she will be true to him in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in prosperity and in adversity; and that forsaking all others will keep herself to him until death.

These promises are sealed with the giving of rings.  That ring is a symbol of the promise (covenant) made.

In our relationship with God – He sent His Son Jesus and the Bible is full of promise after promise of His love to us. The reason for this Christmas season is remembering that Jesus has come as a baby, lived, died and rose from the dead so our relationship with the Father would be restored.

He gave us a sign to the covenant – communion!   Every time we take of the cup and bread we are reminded that we are united, one with Christ, the Father and His Spirit.  Just as the ring is a reminder of the marriage, so communion is the reminder of our unity with the Godhead.

Ephesians 3:17 – 21   Christ dwells in our hearts through faith (our relationship with God started with faith and will end with faith), through His Spirit. We are to be rooted and grounded in love.  To comprehend what is the width, length, depth and height of Christ love to us.  This love passes knowledge and we are allowed to know it and be filled with all the fullness of God Himself.

Romans 8:32  If God gave His own Son for us, how will He not freely give us all things?

V 38 –  I must be persuaded that nothing; not death or life, angels or principalities, powers or things now or in the future, nothing high or low, nothing created will ever be able to separate me from the love of God which I have found in Christ Jesus!

Communion!  The sign of God’s covenant to mankind!    God has done everything to restore relationship.

Our part is to believe!  Trust Him!

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 Ministry of Giving – Always be Generous

2 Cor. 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Knock down strongholds of evil and human thinking – We need spiritual thoughts

V5 Casting down arguments & every high thing that keeps people from knowing God.

Mind warfare – The enemy is flooding minds with anything that will keep us out of relationship with God (getting to know God and about God because enemy knows you will fall in love with God if you get to know who He is and what He is like)

A few weeks back I asked the question – Who told you that? God or the enemy?

v5 Bringing every thought (human or evil) into captivity to the obedience of Christ

Col.2:2-15 understand God’s mysterious plan – Christ himself – In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (of God)

We get caught up in human wisdom because they have persuasive words, but if they don’t bring out the nature of Christ in and through us, do not believe them.

Eph. 3:7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. (Jesus paid for all sin by dying on the cross and was resurrected to new life after 3 days)

v10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

1 Cor. 2:7 The wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God (Christ himself)

v8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it (Christ himself)

v9 No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.

v10 It was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. (not human thinking, but spiritual thinking)

Let us not use human thinking about the Good News. But  the mind of Christ. To bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

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Inky Johnson 

Never let a circumstance or situation define your life!

Be committed to everything you start!  You have too much equity in your life to stop now.

Your motivation is the breath & life in your body.

Everything we are a part of is a blessing by God!

Every day – Impact – Empower – Inspire – encourage by the way you live!

 

Gen. 6:5 (NLT)  The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.

So, God sent judgement – a flood that covered the whole earth.

Now the enemy is imitating God by flooding our thoughts.  But God tells us to renew our minds from the humanness.

We are serving the superior power not the inferior power.

2 Cor. 10:3-6  

Knock down your human thoughts.  Gen. 6:5 told us human thoughts are evil.  Rest in God’s presence.

Capture every human thought, to think like God.  A lot of injuries you can see, but many carry all kinds of inward injures.  Making you wonder if you can trust God?  Rest in God?  Have God’s Peace?  The enemy wants to take you out!

Keep your focus on “God is Good”!   Do not allow the enemy to distract you.  He wants you to question God.

God said He will never destroy the earth again with a flood.   Rev. 12:13-17   Verse 15 the serpent spewed water out like a flood to destroy the woman and her children, that he might cause her to be carried away.   The fiery darts (thoughts) of the wicked are trying to take over our minds to defeat you.  Get you to distrust the covenant that God has made with you.

Fiery dart – why don’t we see healing? Provisions?  These kinds of thoughts flood your mind.

Refocus on God’s covenant

  • Crucifixion, God sent His Son to deliver you
  • Sabbath a day to know your creator
  • Giving – He’s my provider/source.  We give because of the covenant relationship with Him.  He’s got me.  He is my provider.  He has all I have need of.

And all of it points back to the issues of the heart.

Do I believe —

  • I am loved because the Father loves me!
  • I am worth the price Jesus paid!
  • There are rewards in my relationship with God – joy, peace, rest, provision……….

Always focus on what does God say.   You are in a covenant with Him!

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

        Special Service with Jan Aldridge

The ark of the covenant was taken from Israel.  They didn’t notice that the presence of God was gone until the ark was taken.   Many people do not recognize that God’s presence is not with them.  We need relationship with Him.

Eli was the priest at this time.  He became fat and lazy.  His children did whatever they wanted.

Hannah wanted a child so bad she promised God she would give her child to the Lord.  She had Samuel.  Samuel was raised by Eli.   As a child God spoke to Samuel at night, calling him by name.  Samuel would run to Eli.  “Do you want something?”   After the third time, Eli told Samuel to say “Yes, Lord”.   God spoke to a child because the priest quit listening.  He became complacent.  Eli dies.  The presence of the Lord leaves Israel.

David wants the presence of the Lord back!

Participation is needed to bring a vision into completion.   People can get so full that they become prideful.  We need to use our gifts, or we will use them against each other.

2 Samuel 6

David had the structure, but the presence of God was gone!

Who can come into “MY” presence – “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart”.  You can’t be super saint on Sunday and the rest of the week do what you want.”

“Be still and know that I am God”.

As they are bringing back the ark they get to the threshing floor and the ox stumble.  The threshing floor is to get the flesh out of us.  There is a shaking.  Uzzah reaches out to steady the ark and he is struck dead!  Sometimes it’s not your condition – you are out of position.

When the shaking takes place, we want to push it.  The pushing causes the division in churches.  We see what is taking place and we want to help.  Uzzah lost his life trying to help, wrongly.

David was upset, he left the ark right where it was.  When things start to shake – many leave.  But the presence of God is still being offered.  The anger, frustration, fear, offense won’t allow you to carry the vision.  Let them go and seek the Lord.   David did!

Uzzah was out of place!  The ark was never meant to be carried on a cart.  It was to be carried on the shoulders of the people.

God told David – you haven’t prepared a place for “ME”.

We need to prepare ourselves as the dwelling place of God and then the fire will fall.  Not a temporary place, but a permanent place.  Sanctify, set yourself apart, to carry the presence of God.  Seek Him first.

You don’t need a new cart or object to carry the presence of God.  You are the carrier of His presence.

God wants His people to carry His presence together.  When they do His yoke is easy.  Everyone in the church has a place and each one brings their piece to the table.  When everyone is in their place there is balance in the house.

The enemy may push your buttons to keep us in division.  But when we know our place, we give him (enemy) no place.

Share your God stories with your children so they are prepared to carry the presence of God also.  Older teach the younger – practical insight.  Train them as Samuel was trained to hear the voice of God.

Pastor’s Comment –  Let us pull together.  Carrying our part. Setting ourselves apart to know God – Share Him with others.  We each have a place!  There are many places to be filled to see the vision of reaching others for the Kingdom of God.

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         Special Service with Jan Aldridge

Mark 6:42-45   Jesus feed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes

We need to carry a childlike faith.  We haven’t heard it all or seen it all.

The disciples saw the miracle of the loaves and fishes being multiplies but they failed to consider the miracle.

Jesus was first moved with compassion for the people – the church needs compassion.

But – we’ve been hurt, and we carry scars.   The enemies goal is to wear us down, so you lose your stamina, you become tired of fighting.

The disciples wanted to send the people away.  We don’t have the money or resources.  Focus on what you do have!

What do you have?   What is it that you value?   Don’t become co-dependent on the things of this world.

Keep your child like faith.  The little boy gave what he had – 5 loaves, 2 fish.  People who lack are more sensitive than those who have a lot.  Bring what you have to Jesus.

Quit trying!  “BE STILL”!   God wants to get you structurally sound to handle what he wants you to do.

Be thankful for what you have!  God can’t trust you with any more if you are not thankful.  When you bless what you have it can be used.

The key is in the breaking – when you break, from your pride, rebellion God is able to use you.  Breaking is a defining moment.  Bowing down before the Lord is a breaking.

When Jesus blessed the bread and broke it, that’s when the multiplication began.  Jesus told the disciples to go and give.  God can take your little, break it, and give more than you started with.

What do you have?  Be thankful for it.  Bless it.  Allow it to be broken.  Then give what you have to others.

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